Can You Amend a Legal Separation to a Divorce in California?

By Teo Spengler

In California, it's a spouse's right to change his mind. If you file a petition for legal separation, you are free to alter it to a petition for divorce, as long as you do so before the judgment is entered. The procedure for amending varies, depending upon which stage in the proceeding you decide to make the change.

In California, it's a spouse's right to change his mind. If you file a petition for legal separation, you are free to alter it to a petition for divorce, as long as you do so before the judgment is entered. The procedure for amending varies, depending upon which stage in the proceeding you decide to make the change.

Legal Separation vs. Divorce

In California, a legal separation offers many of the same benefits as a divorce -- it separates a couple's finances and the child custody arrangements, except that it is not a divorce. When one or both spouses' religious beliefs forbid divorce, legal separation is a viable option. A spouse might also opt to file for legal separation if neither spouse has met the six-month residency requirement to file for a California divorce.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More

Amending the Petition

The same judicial counsel form -- FL 100 -- is used to petition for divorce and for legal separation. If you want to amend the separation petition to ask for a divorce, you file a second petition entitled, Amended Petition, that contains the change. If your spouse hasn't yet responded to the original petition, all you need to do is file and serve the amended petition. If your spouse has responded, you must ask the court's permission to file the amended petition in an ex parte hearing or noticed motion. Many courts automatically allow the filing of an amended petition. The court does not charge you for filing an amended petition.

Divorce is never easy, but we can help. Learn More
How to Break an Irrevocable Trust

References

Resources

Related articles

How to Repudiate a Trust

When a trust is repudiated, the legal entity that holds the trust property is terminated so that others can gain access to the assets. A trust is an agreement created by a person who donates property for select individuals’ benefit. The property is given to a trustee, who manages the property and distributes it to the beneficiaries subject to terms established by the trust’s creator. There are two types of trusts. A living trust is created by a donor while he is alive and a testamentary trust is created by a donor’s will. Trusts are subject to state law, so regulations regarding how the trust can be terminated may vary. Consult state law to determine the exact steps you need to take to repudiate a trust.

How to File for Divorce of a Covenant Marriage in Louisiana

In Louisiana, a "covenant marriage" is an alternative to an ordinary marriage. A covenant marriage is one in which the couple agrees, during times of marital difficulty, to take all reasonable steps necessary to preserve their marriage, including marital counseling, before seeking a divorce. Additionally, it eliminates most "no-fault" divorce options; therefore, a spouse who later wants a divorce must prove one of several grounds for divorce allowed under Louisiana's covenant marriage law. For these reasons, divorce after a covenant marriage is much more difficult and time-consuming than a typical no-fault divorce. However, Louisiana does not require marrying couples to enter into covenant marriages. It is their choice.

How Do I File an LLC With the Texas Secretary of State?

A limited liability company (LLC) is a form of business organization that has features of both a corporation and a partnership. It offers its owners limited liability, pass-through taxation and flexible operating procedures. LLCs are established under state law. In Texas, the Office of the Secretary of State administers LLCs.

Get Divorced Online

Related articles

How to Amend a Divorce Petition in California

California law allows a person who filed a divorce petition, called a “petitioner,” to amend that petition to ...

How to Amend a Filed Divorce Petition in Oklahoma

Oklahoma requires a certain formatting of amendments and pleadings in divorce. A divorce petition is a document that is ...

Can Divorce Proceedings in Arizona Be Stop by the Petitioner?

If you've already filed for divorce in Arizona, but the divorce has not yet been finalized, you can stop the ...

In California, Can I Amend My Divorce Before the Marital Status Is Terminated?

A change in circumstances in the middle of the divorce process can have a significant impact on the case. Newly ...

Browse by category
Ready to Begin? GET STARTED